Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Department stores urged by netizens to close for typhoons

Staff writer, with CNA

Pleas on social media for department stores to close on typhoon days for safety reasons has drawn support after store employees took risks by going to work on Saturday last week as Typhoon Soudelor was pounding the nation.

A Facebook page with a title that translates as “Supporting workers at department stores: Please stop opening for business when there is a dangerous typhoon,” was set up on Saturday and had received 210,000 “likes” by yesterday.

One of the page’s creators, who identified himself as Chin Han, wrote that department stores cause safety and traffic problems by opening for business on a typhoon day, while they would have to pay compensation to any employee who is injured on the way to work.

Chin urged department store workers, their friends and relatives, and shoppers to show concern for the safety of store employees.

He also shared the call to the Facebook accounts of heads of local governments.

Several major department stores, including Sogo and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, opened in most cities nationwide on Saturday afternoon, after the eye of the storm had moved out to sea.

Many businesses, such as department stores, movie theaters and food delivery services, are normally open on holidays. Saturday was Father’s Day in Taiwan.

A survey of department store workers conducted on Saturday by the 95 Youth Labor Union and the Department Store Labor Union preparatory organization found that 89 percent of the 1,166 respondents had to work that day.

Asked if they supported the idea of designating typhoon days as statutory holidays, 88 percent of the respondents said yes, the two groups said.

No margin of error was given for the survey.

Typhoon days are set by local governments ahead of an oncoming storm, ordering schools and government offices to close.

However, the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) does not mention typhoon days, meaning there is no law preventing private companies from asking their employees to work on those days.

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